Bag Raiders


Golden Sheaf

January, 2023

Bag Raiders DJ Set at Sheaf Wednesdays in Sydney's Double Bay.

Bag Raiders


Australian dance royalty Bag Raiders return with new music, a new label, and a new lease on life in 2022.Not many artists have had the immense effect on the youth of today quite like Bag Raiders. Whether that be sound-tracking many a sweaty night on a dancefloor, sing-a-longs at some of the biggest festivals in the world, or even becoming the anthem to one of the most iconic moments in the internet’s history, the electronic duo have done it all… and are ready for more. With many a feather in their cap and a newfound spring in their step, the boys are about to embark on the newest of adventures, launching their very own record label Broken Head Records which will serve as the new home for the next batch of Bag Raiders anthems for the near future and beyond.The idea behind launching a label was quite simple; “It’s about freedom”Jack Glass says while sipping a coffee on a sunny Sydney day. “More freedom, less rules and more fun” he continues. Allowing the duo to throw the music industry shackles off, Broken Heads Records will focus on a steady stream of music throughout the year with eyes on a more club-based output.The label will see a return to their dancefloor roots, and a reconnection with a musical style, community and motives that have always been close to their hearts. “The Broken Head releases will take us back to the club and those magical festival moments” says Chris Stracey, the other half of Bag Raiders from his LA Studio. “Back to where we started, where it’s about having fun”. The groups enthusiasm is obvious as they describe their current direction, similar to that of international contemporaries Bicep, TEED, Ross From Friends and Four Tet.The first taste of the next instalment in the bands long-lauded catalogue was ‘UR Heart’, released in March 2022. With its churning melodic arpeggios melded with the pitched up vocal sample refrain of “I’ve been loving you…”, the band goes in heavy, serving us a spoonful of dancefloor-centred emotion. Themes of long-lost love, newfound friends or the always apparent sense of self are all running through the track’s DNA and throughout its euphoric journey. It’s the kind of track that makes you want to get out of the smokers and back to the dancefloor to hug your friends and yell “I love you” in their sweaty ear, which, is what dance music has always been about – shared emotions. As Jack describes “if it feels good, it is good” and boy does this feel good.Second single ‘Never Forget’ followed in July; another late-night focussed object of beauty. Almost 2-step in its stuttering beat, the shimmering production plays a support role to the cut-up vocal which is presented on a pedestal of sentiment in this more inward-reflecting piece. If ‘UR Heart’ was the come up, ‘Never Forget’ is the drive home after losing your love and/or friends on the dancefloor. A collage of memories from last night and tomorrow morning, ‘Never Forget’ is timeless in its simple beauty. A short sharp jab to the heart coupled with the rich production the duo has become known for.In October Bag Raiders release 'Letting Go', a pensive, fast-paced mantra. In this latest era, Chris and Jack's music is dedicated to the emotional ties of club spaces and dancefloors, serving today a single devoid of indulgent hubris, but instead, presenting a vessel and means for release. Jack begins: "this tune is about body feel, freeing the mind and submitting. On the dancefloor, in life, whenever. We can all use a bit of letting go.” Chris elaborates, “Letting Go is about liberation, sometimes we don't allow ourselves to live the full potential of our experiences because we’re holding on to expectations or insecurities or other baggage that brings us down, and one of the best places to drop all of that is on the dancefloor."

Just the start of things to come, the autonomy afforded to them with Broken Head Records will see a bigger and more consistent output from Bag Raiders over the coming years. “It’s really helped us to fall in love with music again” Chris mentions with excitement. He’s again talking about that idea of freedom and focussing on music they want to make rather than what they are expected to make. “We started in clubs and this new chapter is all about DJ sets, sweaty clubs and festivals”. That hands-on approach filters throughout every aspect of the new venture, including all artwork, A&R and promotion with collaborating with friends of theirs and building a new community around Broken Head Records core to the project. The kooky yet brazen branding and logo, created by Sydney-based artist Nick Amezdroz (also known for his work with night-time institution Pelvis) is a perfect example of this free-spirited nature the duo now embody. If the feeling of freedom, fun and community is what Broken Head aims to be centred around, they’re off to a flying start.While they look to the future, it’s impossible to forget the past and the fact Bag Raiders have been stalwarts in the dance community for over 10 years now. After releasing a slew of cult-favourite singles, and signing to dance-powerhouse Modular Records, the band released their debut self-titled record in 2011. The record debuted at #7 on the ARIA Charts and snagged them a ‘Best Dance Release’ nomination at that year’s ARIA Awards. A part of that record was the single ‘Shooting Stars’ which has amassed over 4 billion streams online, clocking 32 Platinum and 7 Gold plaques worldwide and had a cultural impact beyond anyone’s expectations. Following the success of the debut record, the band released a stack of well received EP’s ‘Waterfalls’, ‘Checkmate’ and ‘Friend Inside’, club heater ‘Nairobi’ and ‘Beat Me To The Punch featuring Mayer Hawthorne. The release of their second LP ‘Horizons in 2019 (featuring hit singles ‘How Long’ and ‘Lightning’) further solidified Bag Raiders as the benchmark for electronic pop music not only in Australia but around the world. Playing countless festivals, sold out tours across Australia, North and South America, Europe and Asia, the boys continued to etch their name in numerous hearts and souls across the globe. After such plaudits, the next chapter in their book couldn’t come at a better time. One foot in the club, one eye on the future has always been the motto.It’s impossible to over-emphasise the impact that Bag Raiders have had on dance music, both in Australia and the rest of the world. With such a rich history already in the bank, one could forgive the duo for resting on their laurels and setting off into the sun. Lucky for us, they’ve never been hungrier, more creative nor more excited about what comes next. Which is what exactly? “More bangers, more head breaking” spouts Jack. Well, colour us ready to be broken.



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Sheaf Wednesdays